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Julia and the Freddo

In my circle of friends, the story goes (and I’m sure she’ll correct any details I get wrong) that while ago Kathy was in the local supermarket with one of the kids, who was promised a Freddo Frog, but Kathy didn’t have the correct small change handy. Sorry kid, no Freddo this time. Uh oh, prepare for full-volume, DEFCON-1 wailing.

Just in the nick of time, Julia Gillard, standing in the queue behind them, shouted them a Freddo and alleviated eardrum disaster. Onya Julia!

Fast forward to now. Two weeks after Julia Gillard ascended to the position of Prime Minister, her first-female-PM halo is starting to look a little rusty.

Richard DiNatale is obviously biased given he’s the lead Greens candidate for the Senate, but I reckon a few would be agreeing with him:

The pacific solution with a different postcode, the internet filter stays, no price on carbon until 2012. Glad we’ve got a new PM.


On immigration issues, I found myself agreeing thoroughly with this letter in The Age yesterday:

Most desperate targeted

WHY all this fuss about refugees? Don’t people realise that the people who are flooding our cities, inflating our real estate values and putting strains on our community facilities are the legal immigrants: 180,000 so far this year?

Why don’t politicians mention the 50,000 overstayers who come by plane, not by boat? It is the above groups who are stressing our social and physical environment.

We certainly need a population policy for sustainable development rather than a policy of scapegoating the most desperate.

John Addie, Ringwood East


I guess it was asking too much for the pollies, Julia Gillard included, to start focussing on the issues that really matter, rather than the stuff which is high-profile but which is actually pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.

She would have won a lot of friends, and hopefully moulded the ALP’s flawed thinking on the Internet Filter into something reasonable, by moving Conroy out of IT and putting in Kate Lundy, who actually seems to understand it, in instead.

And it does seem that carbon pricing is off the table for now, just as it was under Rudd.

See also: Clarke and Dawe on asylum seekers.

PS. At least the mining tax debate got settled, though I’m not sure us lowly taxpayers got the best deal out of it.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Julia and the Freddo”

I also agree with Mr Addie. After my parents arrived on our shores, no one else should have been allowed in!

I’d imagine Julia will be taking a trip to Government house in the next week or so. What an interesting campaign it’s going to be. I still have no idea who I’m voting for, and I hate to sound like a cliche, but they’re all as bad as each other.

What I found strange about the SriLankans, is that there were no boat people leaving during all the years they were living in a maoist, Pol-Pot-style enclave in Sri Lanka. But now the war is finally over, they want to leave ? Makes no sense. They should send them to Nepal.

I think the refugee issue is a sad indictment of our society, the polies, media and interest groups all have there part to play but the biggest problem is the masses of Australians who feel threatened and fearful of anyone coming here without an invitation.
Europe has some real refugee issues to deal with we don’t.

Yes, boat people are an election issue for the pollies. I even heard Pauline Hanson spouting about the issue on Jon Faine’s show a few days ago, ! Good dog, hasn’t she faded into oblivion yet?

I’m usually pretty proud to be able to say that I’m an Australian (yes, I came on a plane) but the boat people issue has been a serious downside – it shows a definite lack of spirit.

I love Clarke and Dave. Spot on as per usual.

May I!?
I. Told. You. So!!!!!
From my comment last week:

“All they’ve done is change the salesman, they’re still selling the same defective product!!”

You know, reading The Australian this morning, I nearly died laughing while reading this article further outlining this government’s sheer incompetence:
It kind of reminded me of this:
It was funny until it dawned on me- THAT’S OUR MONEY!!!!!! WASTED!!!!! Just like every other hopeless scheme this government has foisted on us- Insulation scheme, BER, etc! How is it people aren’t furious about this out and out waste of taxpayer dollars?

Also, how stupid does our current Prime Ministerial incarnation think we are? She sorted the mining tax? Really? She “negotiated” a TENTATIVE deal with only the big three companies- many of the smaller miners have expressed their disgust at being left out of any discussions, and are still opposed to it! And Daniel, if you as a self described “lowly taxpayer” want a better deal from the mining companies, why don’t you do what millions of other Australians do- buy shares in mining companies! Why should we benefit from THEIR investment and high risk work!? At least if you put your money in, then you’re entitled to get some of it back in dividends!

Next on our FFPM’s (First Female Prime Minister) check list (a silly marketing gimmick designed by some Labor apparatchik to give the appearance of actually doing something) is the asylum seeker/ illegal alien problem. Dogs Breath, are you saying that I can come into your house at will, without any invitation, and stay as long as I want? Because that’s what your implying! We have border policies for a reason- we want to be able to determine who is best suited to enter this country! If people are genuine refugees, then an ordered, manageable process will see them through! When thousands flood the system, NO-ONE wins! Indeed, enno makes an excellent point- Sri Lanka just came out of a 25 year civil war, and yet more so-called refugees have come from there after the war has ended! Andrew S can tell you, as he came back from a holiday in Sri Lanka a few months back, it is safer now than when he went 2 years earlier! So why all the boats? They see us as an easy touch, and are trying to jump the queue! Indeed, Andrew’s friend’s wife, who is trying to come from SL to here the proper way, is being made to jump through all sorts of hoops- and she’s a doctor!! We should reform our immigration system, making it easier for skilled migrants to enter, but it is necessary to secure our borders! But the most insulting thing about Joowya is that she can recycle the hated “Pacific Solution”, change the location, and sell it as something different! Doesn’t this just vindicate Howard’s policy!?

Ah, the internet filter, it looks like she’s delayed it for now, hoping to win the election, then sneak it in as a Trojan Horse:
Why bother delaying it? Once again, do they think we’re that stupid? Do you really think they won’t bring it back if they win? Yet again, another insult to the people of this country!

Oh, and how about that wonderful ETS! Our Kiwi cousins have just started their scheme, let’s see how they’re going:
D’oh! Aw, nuts! But it’ll all be worth it, right? NZ contributes 0.2% of global CO2 emissions, and might cut emissions be 0.04%! And the silliest thing, that they have to exclude cow and sheep farts from this scheme? Cow flatulence is evil? Aren’t cows natural? We are seriously going to regulate their flatulence? Have we gone mad!!

Hey Phillip, what’s so perfect about Big Red!? She is becoming an even bigger disaster than Little Kev!! And worst of all, her out and out deceit if the most insulting a government has ever been in this country’s history- Rudd was a piker by comparison!

I know I’m going to be hated by nearly everyone here, but I can’t keep it in! I don’t hate Gillard, indeed prior to her ascension, I quite liked her as a person, didn’t agree with her on anything, but she seemed sincere! But in the last two weeks, this government would have us believe everything has changed and all is well, and indeed it is no different than with Rudd! Labor is not interested in fixing the country’s problems- only to win re-election! If they were true to their principles, they would run with them for the election, like Howard did with GST and Work Choices, but, they know their policies are unpopular, and will sneak them in by Trojan horse after they supposedly win!

Time to wake up, Australia!!

“are you saying that I can come into your house at will, without any invitation, and stay as long as I want? Because that’s what your implying!”

Good grief Andrew V, I’ve seen you peddle this ridiculous straw man argument here before. Dog’s Breath is not implying any such thing and I’m fairly sure you’re bright enough to know that.

I could just as easily construct some equally shaky analogy like:

“Are you saying that if Nitin Garg–having been stabbed in a nearby park and bleeding heavily–knocked loudly your door, pleading for an ambulance, you wouldn’t consider opening the door because he didn’t ring in advance? Because that’s what your implying!”

Hell, allow me to stretch this rather limited analogy towards breaking point: you probably wouldn’t be breaking any law by failing to open your front door, just as Australia doesn’t really have to remain a signatory to certain refugee conventions. But there are downsides to being hesitant to do the decent thing that many others manage to do considerably more often and with considerably less fuss. For one, it becomes harder and harder to argue that Australia is not the deeply xenophobic, perhaps even racist, country that much of the rest of the world has long been convinced we are. (And let’s face it, the historical record is pretty damning as it is.)

Even if you care about nothing else, situations eventually arise where it becomes important what the, er, neighbours think.

I notice that the difference between the people coming by plane and the people coming by boat is the perception of burden. Rightly or wrongly, if they can get here by plane, then they have money and we do not have to look after them.

The biggest issue for the ‘boat people’ is that they are endangering their lives by coming over in unseaworthy vessels and that practice should be discouraged from a humanitarian point of view. This assumes that their lives are not endangered where they are currently positioned. This is something that I can not judge.

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